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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Member
GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PART I.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT

TITLE XXI.
LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

CHAPTER 149. LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

PROVISIONS AS TO HEALTH AND SAFETY
Chapter 149: Section 129C Installation or repair of live electric wires or electrical equipment; assistance; safety equipment; penalty

Section 129C. Whoever being engaged in the business of transmitting electricity or installing or repairing live wires or electrical equipment knowingly permits a journeyman or first class lineman, while on a pole or structure, to work on live wires in excess of seven hundred and fifty volts to ground unless he is assisted on or at the base of each such pole or structure by a journeyman lineman, a fourth-year apprentice, a second class lineman or a lineman having a title commonly accepted as the equivalent of the foregoing shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars. Whoever being engaged in the business of transmitting or distributing electricity or installing or repairing live wires or electrical equipment knowingly permits any of its personnel to work on live wires, electrical equipment or any other energized conductor in excess of fifteen thousand volts phase-to-phase or eight thousand five hundred volts phase-to-ground directly with rubber gloves or in any manner other than with insulated hot line tools in which case the worker shall maintain as a minimum clearance from such wire, equipment or conductor a distance consistent with the minimum requirements of the occupational safety and health act, so-called, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.

Each violation of this section shall be a separate offense.

For the purpose of this section, a structure shall be deemed to include any type of aerial lift device, including a so-called bucket truck. This section shall not apply to work done by any person who is commonly called a troubleman, while making emergency repairs, locating electrical faults, clearing defective apparatus, or answering service calls.


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
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Joe,
That law certainly sounds like a good start.
However, this part of the law I have a problem with:
Quote
directly with rubber gloves or in any manner other than with insulated hot line tools in which case the worker shall maintain as a minimum clearance from such wire, equipment or conductor a distance consistent with the minimum requirements of the occupational safety and health act
Does the use of Cover sheets on the energised lines, not mean that you can work at closer proximity to the said lines?.
Also,
Strike me down for being a little thick on this one, but:
Quote
This section shall not apply to work done by any person who is commonly called a troubleman, while making emergency repairs, locating electrical faults, clearing defective apparatus, or answering service calls
How does the work of a "troubleman" differ from that of a Lineman in the US?.

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 119
S
Member
Joe,

Who enforces this law. What department or division?

It is my understanding that only Federal OSHA has jurisdiction in Massachusetts. Not only that, but, Massachusetts does not offer any protection at all for its public employees that work for the government.

I have always found Massachusetts to be the biggest safety and health contradiction in the country. You have two senators that fight for OSHA funding, then they don't push for their own state to provide public employee protection.

Please correct me if I'm wrong and enlighten me.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Member
Thanks for the comments. I posted this because I too found it hard to believe, who knows probably a rule still on the books from long ago!

On another note, the Mayor of Boston has set up a task force to check out why so many poor little dogs are getting electrocuted!

Manholes, light covers, and splice boxes --- what a mess.


Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 206
C
Member
Safetygem, The "General Laws Of Massachusetts" are enforced by the State Attorney General. Enforcing certain laws gets your name and picture in the paper more often than others. Something you need to consider if you want to run for higher office in Massachusetts. Enforcing this law would not generate media coverage. Also I can not think of a time I saw only one utility worker at a pole by himself. The law does not apply to the lone trouble man.
Al


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